After years spent studying for a science degree and working as an underling for others, you may now, or in time, have an insatiable desire to strike out on your own and set up your very own lab.
The dream is a big one, and it is one that can be made more possible by undertaking the right series of precautions. From cost considerations to securing all your equipment, there is a large to-do list here that cannot be evaded under any circumstances. So, what are the types of things you should be considering here, and how might you best prepare for the road ahead.
Below, you will find the 5 things you must remember when setting up your own science lab.
Laws and Procedures
When you set up your science lab, all your activities must comply with US regulations for the health and safety of all concerned.
Therefore, you should review the standards that are pertinent to laboratory management, and adhere to them closely. For example, you will be responsible for:
- The provision of PPE to safeguard against compressed gasses and flammable substances.
- Protecting air and water quality.
- Labelling any hazardous chemicals that you concoct.
- Emergency fire and prevention plans.
Much more will be required of you also, and ignorance is no excuse for non-compliance. Therefore, it is best to review all your lawful obligations straight from the authoritative sources themselves. That way, you can be certain you are meeting all the necessary measurements.
It is also worth noting that rules and regulations change overtime, too. Keep tabs on the law, note any alterations that may be incurred, and stay updated on all your science and industry-related news as well. All your research might help you to accommodate any health and safety changes in a timely manner as required.
Tailor the Lab to Your Career
If you are budding scientist that is dead set on having a lab of your own, then you no doubt have dreams of having a space that can accomplish all wonders. However, that simply will not be the case – at least at the beginning!
It might seem obvious but tailoring your lab to your personal career trajectory is essential. Everything you plan subsequently will then be more likely to be appropriate and affordable.
Remember, numerous careers can branch off from the subject of chemistry alone, so if you’re still in the throes of studying, try to acknowledge that your specifications may affect how your lab is outfitted, and that your wildest dreams may not always be realistic. Some equipment may not be necessary depending on whether you are a biologist or a physicist,but in certain instances there may be some elements of crossover too. Approach things with a career-focused mindset, and your lab will surely have everything you require.
Source Equipment Smartly
Lab equipment can be immensely expensive, so looking for alternative ways to stock your lab affordably is a good idea.
A viable option here could be exploring lab equipment auctions, which you could attend either in-person or online. Which you choose may depend on if you prefer inspecting the goods in the real world oravoiding certain types of bidder online or in-person, but either option should boast some positive results. So long as you check the equipment’s repair and maintenance histories, and the age of your instruments, you could secure your lab gear for a bargain price here.
Of course, better deals may free up cash elsewhere in your lab preparations and operations as well. Therefore, your decisions could feasibly improve your prospects elsewhere in your lab setup, giving you more resources and options to work with. In time, you could also come to sell any disused lab equipment on through the auctions as well, landing you the potential to make a tidy profit also. There are some elements of risk involved in any auction, but the rewards can be quite worthwhile indeed.
Of course, if you do not hire qualified colleagues to handle all your equipment, then it will likely sit there gathering dust until you do.
Still, you cannot just hire anyone to work in your lab. Whether they are fellow scientists, lab technicians, or even admin and security staff – each hire must have heightened qualities to be worthy of working in a lab environment. They must demonstrate that they understand how to adhere to safety procedures, respect their surroundings, and appreciate the importance of good results.
If you are in any doubt about finding a suitable biotech lab technician, then research the qualities and qualifications you should be looking for in your hiring search. Whoever clinches the role will need to prepare any samples for testing, maintain the hygiene standards of the lab, and support scientists and researchers directly.That is a lot to manage. Every role you fill carries immense importance, so nothing less than fully committed applicants will suffice. Ultimately, your lab is no place for apathetic workers to coast by between roles, so make sure you are only taking on the best of the best.
Meticulously Arrange the Lab’s Layout
Of course, even the most talented workers may struggle to perform their roles well if their work environment is poorly arranged.
Labs should not be cluttered or crowded spaces, and for them to be so would likely commit numerous health and safety violations as well. Therefore, making sure that everyone present has ample room to work and stay organized in should be a high priority.
It may be helpful to arrange your lab in a logical fashion. Perhaps designate one corner of the lab for storing hazardous chemicals, another for featuring dangerous equipment, and another for providing things like computers and important documentation. If your lab starts to be filled with more bodies, an organized setup like this may prevent people from overcrowding certain areas orprevent spillages on important machinery.
There should also be at least two exits in the event of any emergencies, and you should be sure to isolate the more important or sensitive areas of your lab, only making them accessible with authorization such as keypads or keycards. That way, your workers will hopefully not get lost or tamper with things that they should perhaps leave alone.